Physical activity helps reduce COPD symptoms

Credit: Unsplash+

A recent study has shed light on the positive impact of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in individuals with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Conducted by Loes Oostrik and colleagues from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, this research highlights how increased physical activity can significantly alleviate the symptoms of COPD, a chronic lung condition that often causes breathing difficulties.

The study involved various groups, including 406 mild COPD patients, 287 with moderate COPD, 347 healthy individuals, and 474 individuals at risk of developing COPD.

The researchers discovered that those with a higher symptom burden tended to engage in less physical activity.

Particularly in the moderate COPD subgroup, a significant link was found between increased symptoms and decreased physical activity levels.

Interestingly, 72% of the study’s COPD participants had not been diagnosed by a physician and were found to have higher levels of physical activity compared to those with a diagnosed condition.

The Importance of Exercise in COPD Management

Despite the challenges of exercising with symptoms like breathlessness, the study emphasizes the importance of regular physical activity for COPD patients.

Stephanie Williams, R.R.T., Vice President of Education and Engagement at the COPD Foundation, suggests that exercises like gentle yoga and walking, when done under medical supervision, can notably improve the symptoms and overall quality of life for those living with COPD.

This finding is crucial because it offers a non-pharmacological approach to managing a condition that significantly impacts the respiratory system and daily activities.

Implications for COPD Treatment

This study has important implications for the treatment and management of COPD. It suggests that incorporating physical activity into the daily routine of COPD patients could be a key strategy in alleviating symptoms and enhancing their quality of life.

Healthcare providers may consider recommending and supervising appropriate exercise regimens for their COPD patients as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

In conclusion, this study underscores the inverse relationship between physical activity and symptom burden in COPD patients.

By encouraging and facilitating regular, moderate to vigorous exercise, healthcare professionals can help improve the wellbeing of individuals living with this chronic respiratory condition.

If you care about lung health, please read studies about why Viagra may be useful in treating lung diseases, and scientists find herbal supplements to treat lung cancer.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about gum disease linked to impaired lung function, and results showing COVID-19 is not just a respiratory illness, it can cause strokes too.

The research findings can be found in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases: Journal of the COPD Foundation.